Belfast Telegraph

Prue Leith called Mary Berry for Bake Off advice before accepting job

Prue Leith didn't take on her new role as judge on The Great British Bake Off for the money, insisting she didn't think about the financial benefit of the job at all.

Prue Leith called Mary Berry to get the low-down on Paul Hollywood before she accepted the judging role on The Great British Bake Off.

Channel 4 bosses confirmed Prue and Paul as judges for the new series last week (ends19Mar17), with Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig hosting when the show airs from its new home after moving from the BBC.

While Prue was lured to the show with a reported £500,000 contract, she admits she wanted to make sure she had done all her research before signing on the dotted line.

"When Mary said she wasn’t going with it, I’ll confess I thought, ‘I’d quite like that job’," Prue, 77, smiled during an interview with The Sun.

“So I rang her up before I took the job to find out about Paul. I was very anxious to know. She said he was lovely, so that was OK.”

Mary and Paul's double act was one of the most beloved parts of Bake Off on the BBC, so when he decided to move to Channel 4 despite Mary and former Bake Off presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins remaining loyal to the BBC, Mary has always insisted she remains close friends with the silver fox.

Following Prue's new contract being revealed, it was claimed she is on three times' more than Mary was when she was a judge on the show. But the bespectacled domestic goddess insists the money wasn't a major part of her decision to take on the role.

"It’s interesting, I didn’t think about the money at all. That probably sounds quite arrogant but I am lucky enough to choose what I do. I don’t have to do it for the money," she said. "I heard that I was going to earn three times as much as Mary. That would be nice but I don’t know what Mary earned."

The Great British Bake Off is set to air on Channel 4 later this year (17).

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